Posted by: Luther Rice College & Seminary | July 22, 2014

A Tribute to Dr. James W. Bryant: A Christian Statesman Goes Home to Glory

The well-respected Christian statesman Dr. James W. Bryant unexpectedly went home to be with his Heavenly Father on June 11, 2014. Dr. Bryant served as the third president of Luther Rice Seminary, guiding the institution from 1991-1993. He oversaw the first two years of transition as Luther Rice moved from Jacksonville, Florida, to its present location in Atlanta, Georgia. In a trustees’ meeting in 1991, Bryant, who was currently serving as the Executive Vice President of Luther Rice, was approved to become the next president. He served as president until his resignation in April 1993.   

Bryant had a broad ministry background, serving as Pastor of several Southern Baptist churches. He graduated with honors from Wheaton College with his Bachelor of Arts degree and earned Doctor and Master of Divinity degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also served on the board of trustees for two Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) seminaries and served as a member and trustee of the Executive Committee of the SBC. Bryant also held positions on several other boards within the SBC and was a professional member of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Bryant was a gifted pastor and professor who served in many different churches in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as Arkansas, New Mexico, and Georgia. In the early 1970s, Bryant played a key role in the organization of Criswell Bible Institute, now Criswell College, and served as its first Academic Dean. Later he held the office of President of Academic Affairs at Criswell College. He most recently served as the Distinguished Senior Professor of Pastoral Theology.   

Bryant was an accomplished author who wrote multiple books, the most recent being “The New Guidebook for Pastors.” One of his other books, “The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament,” was translated into Swahili for use in Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board seminaries in Africa.   

Dr. James W. Bryant was born on September 24, 1936, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Charles and Addie Bryant. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Ruby; son Scott Bryant and wife, Kendra; son Kurt Bryant and wife, Hollie; granddaughter Nicole Fender and husband, Shea; grandson Luke Bryant and wife, Suzanne; one sister, Jackie Marvin, and other numerous family members.

A memorial service was held at 2:00pm on Monday, June 16, 2014, at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, or Criswell College.

Luther Rice Seminary joins in the celebration of a life well lived by a man who served God and his fellow man with fervor and conviction.


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